The OpenStax College is a non-profit organisation founded in 2012 by Rice University and sponsored by a number of foundations. The organisation offers free learning materials and textbooks.
This organisation has come up with six textbooks, which have been downloaded more than 480,000 times, saving students of an estimated amount of $8 million. Hundreds of educational institutions have approved the organisation that works in collaborations with educators to write and review each textbook.
David Harris, spokesman, OpenStax College, said, “We are expanding our library now because the need has never been greater,” Many students are forced to make hard choices because of the issue of affordable textbooks. “Student debt now surpasses $1 trillion, seven out of ten college students are choosing not to purchase texts, and the costs of texts, including economics, are now well above $200.” He adds.
Mr. Harris continued, “Our goal was to create a text that balanced these perspectives and allow students to make their own informed decisions about macro and microeconomic issues. This took a great deal of collaboration with reviewers and editors around the country.”
Principles of Economics, textbook covering important chapters
‘Principles of Economics’ is a textbook covering 39 chapters and proposed for two semesters. The basic concepts like financial markets, demands and supply, and current events from the Affordable Care Act to great recession have been covered in the textbook. Students have the option to order print versions or download digital copies of the textbook.
The OpenStax College provides supporting course materials to go with the textbook. For educators, PowerPoint Slides and instructor’s materials are available to download. The organisation has recently partnered with Wiley and Sapling Learning to prepare online tests and homework problems for students.
Mr. Harris said that reaching its niche in the market is a challenge for the new organisation. “However, the reception to the text has been terrific and the community is certainly spreading the word. In addition, we plan to attend economics conferences and partner with organizations who can get the word out.”
Later this year, OpenStax College plans to come up with supplementary free textbooks, which include content on psychology, U.S. History, pre-calculus and chemistry.
The idea of providing free textbooks to those who cannot afford it is certainly a thoughtful step into right direction. It will not only let students avail of relevant textbooks, but also encourage them to study.